HOUSTON – Texas’ upcoming tax holiday is an opportune time to review and refresh your emergency kits.
The 2023 Emergency Preparation Supplies Sales Tax Holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, April 22 and ends at midnight on Monday, April 24.
During this period, you can purchase certain emergency preparation supplies like batteries, flashlights, portable generators and coolers, tax free in-store, online, by telephone, mail or custom order.
There is no limit on the number of qualifying items you can purchase.
These emergency preparation supplies qualify for tax exemption if purchased for a sales price:
Less than $3000
- Portable generators
Less than $300
- Emergency ladders
- Hurricane shutters
Less than $75
- Batteries, single or multipack (AAA cell, AA cell, C cell, D cell, 6 volt or 9 volt)
- Can openers - nonelectric
- Carbon monoxide detectors
- Coolers and ice chests for food storage – nonelectric
- Fire extinguishers
- First aid kits
- Fuel containers
- Ground anchor systems and tie-down kits
- Ice products - reusable and artificial
- Light sources - portable self-powered (including battery operated). Examples of items include: candles, flashlights and lanterns.
- Mobile telephone batteries and mobile telephone chargers
- Radios - portable self-powered (including battery operated) - includes two-way and weather band radios
- Smoke detectors
- Tarps and other plastic sheeting
Note: Several over-the-counter self-care items, such as antibacterial hand sanitizer, soap, spray and wipes, are always exempt from sales tax if they are labeled with a “Drug Facts” panel in accordance with federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations.
These supplies do not qualify for tax exemption:
- Medical masks and face masks
- Cleaning supplies, such as disinfectants and bleach wipes
- Gloves, including leather, fabric, latex and types used in healthcare
- Toilet paper
- Batteries for automobiles, boats and other motorized vehicles
- Camping stoves
- Camping supplies
- Extension ladders
- Repair or replacement parts for emergency preparation supplies
- Services performed on, or related to, emergency preparation supplies
Note: Additional charges affect the sales price. Delivery, shipping, handling and transportation charges are part of the sales price. If the emergency preparation supply being purchased is taxable, the delivery charge is also taxable. Consider these charges when determining whether an emergency preparation supply can be purchased tax free during the holiday. For example, you purchase a rescue ladder for $299 with a $10 delivery charge, for a total sales price of $309. Because the total sales price of the ladder is more than $300, tax is due on the $309 sales price.
More information on the sales tax holiday is available on the Comptroller’s website.
Obviously, disaster prep is about more than just buying stuff. Before severe weather strikes, develop an emergency communication plan so everyone in your household will know how to reach each other and where to meet up in an emergency. Create a list of the contact information for your family and other important resources like medical facilities, doctors, schools and service providers, and make sure everyone carries around a copy. Attend a local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) class at no cost. Take a first-aid course. And don’t forget to review and refresh your emergency kit at least once a year.
Here are some resources that can help you prepare for an emergency:
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